4 responses

  1. Ali
    May 12, 2013

    Interesting timing on this post. I had recently watched Transcendent Man, a documentary on Ray Kurzweil. I find myself being simultaneously excited about the occurrence of singularity and disturbed by our insistence on becoming ‘less human’. Perhaps that is our collective ironic folly – that human evolution will bring about technological evolution at the expense of a piece of our humanity.

    Kurzweil talks about how today we already have pieces of tech in our bodies without problems, e.g. bolts and pacemakers, and that pretty soon the amount of tech in us will increase to include replacements for whole organs and so on, probably to the point where some/most of us will be largely machine!

    Google Glass is also an interesting technological milestone that showcases how our most ubiquitous technologies and information processing mechanisms are coming closer and closer to our faces – from monitors to laptops to smartphones to glasses and possibly in the future to contact lenses and, who knows, in our brains.

    Reply

    • Greg
      May 12, 2013

      Ali,

      Thank you for raising such interesting questions.

      I’m not sure that we’re losing our humanity as much as we’re losing our mortality. There is no evidence that machines are dulling any of the traits that we value as “human,” such as empathy, the ability to communicate, love, etc. In fact, if anything, as the need to focus on survival lessens, those traits seem to be enhanced (e.g. violence is way down).

      As Arthur C. Clark put it, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I think that’s what’s so unnerving about new technologies such as machine intelligence and artificial life.

      But you’re absolutely right. It is very spooky!

      – Greg

      Reply

  2. Tim
    May 19, 2013

    Interesting article, but of the tasks still on the wall, reviewing movies has NOT come down. In the Singularity Is Near Kurzweil said that this task, along with holding a press conference, will be among the hardest tasks to achieve because it will require strong AI, or Turing Test level intelligence.

    Reply

    • Greg
      May 19, 2013

      Well, I guess it’s a matter of opinion, but algorithms are already evaluating screenplays so that’s good enough for me.

      Thanks for your comment.

      – Greg

      Reply

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